Squat Exercise: Best Ways to Do Your Squat Exercise
Are you looking for a powerful way to boost your overall fitness and want some serious results? Then look no further and add squats in your daily workout routine. This simple exercise benefits the entire body. Mike Jackson - Nutritional Consultant and Physique Transformation Specialist, demonstrates how to do a perfect squat with added variation for excellent benefits.
Squat Type # 1: Bodyweight squats
Lose the weights and the machines, all you need for this workout is you. Bodyweight squats are great for beginners or for those times when you don’t have equipment.
Squat Type # 2: Full squats
If you’ve ever answered nature’s call in the great outdoors, you already know how to do this exercise. Bend your knees and lower down as far as you can. A full squat activates all the major leg and butt muscles. It can be done with or without added weight.
Squat Type # 3: One-leg squats
Squatting with one leg - with or without weight - requires a lot of balance. The advantage? More muscles are engaged to increase stability. Plus, the balancing leg gets an intense workout.
Squat Type # 4: Half squat
Not everyone has the balance and strength required for full squats and one-leg squats. A half squat is safer and easier, but still a great lower body workout. For a half squat, lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Then return to starting position.
How to Do a Squat Correctly
These tips generally apply, no matter what squat you’re doing:
• Keep feet (foot) flat on the floor. Don’t rise onto toes or lift heel(s) off the ground.
• Avoid letting knee(s) extend very far past the toes - keeping your heel(s) planted helps with this.
• The general rule is to stand with feet shoulder-width apart, but taking a wider stance engages inner thigh muscles more (doesn’t apply with one-leg squats).
• Keep the back straight. You can bend at the hips, but your back should not curve.
• If you’re a beginner, start with bodyweight squats until you are comfortable with the motion. Then, gradually add weight - dumbbells or barbells work best
Also See: Top 5 Exercises to Tone Your Lower Half!
*Images courtesy: © Thinkstock photos/ Getty Images